Good 18-Point Loss? Yes,
the Red Raiders lost at Oklahoma by 18 points, and that is hardly a
satisfactory outcome. But this game felt much closer than the final score
indicated. It felt more like a 10-point loss.
This was a two-point game with less than 9:30 to play. It
was a five-point game with less than seven minutes to play. And Oklahoma didn’t
open up a permanent double-digit lead until 4:41 to play.
In the end, Texas Tech let this game get away in the end. The
Red Raiders simply couldn’t get any stops down the stretch, and began jacking
up three-pointers in a vain attempt to catch up.
Tech is still very much an immature and inexperienced team
that tends to lose its poise. And loss of poise against Big 12 teams, even for
a few minutes, means double-digit losses.
Long Range Game Again
a Disaster: The Red Raiders play their worst when they shoot lots of
threes. That was certainly the case against Oklahoma as Tech hoisted up 22
three pointers (over 37 percent of their total shots) and made only five. Daylen Robinson, Josh Gray and Jaye Crockett were a
combined 0 for eleven from three-point country.
This approach is poison for the Red Raiders. They need to
keep their three-point attempts below 30 percent, and preferably under 25. Probably better to have shot clock violations than
to attempt three pointers. At least with shot clock violations, the game is
slowed down and the opposition has no opportunity for long rebounds and fast
Aggression within Discipline:
In his attempts to make over the Red Raiders as a disciplined, methodical
team, Chris Walker faces a bit of a dilemma. Specifically, how can he convince
his team to play in this manner while still encouraging it to be aggressive on
It was plainly apparent that the Sooners were by far the
more aggressive team in Norman. On both ends of the court, OU took the fight to
the Red Raiders. To Tech’s credit, the Red Raiders counterpunched well for most
of the game. Still, if the Red Raiders are to improve their chances for
victory, they must figure out ways to be disciplined on offense, yet maintain
an attack mode. The Sooners shot twice as many free throws as Tech. So did
Kansas. This is a function of comparative aggressiveness. And it’s a problem
the Tech coaching staff needs to solve.
Tapsoba’s Role: Kader Tapsoba
has a real knack for blocking shots. He had two in only 10 minutes of action
against the Sooners. I’m not sure whether or not he’s quick enough to guard a
player like Romero Osby 10 feet away from the hoop,
but why not give him a shot? Dejan Kravic, who had a marvelous game on offense
and on the boards, certainly could do nothing with Osby.
Perhaps, Tapsoba, with his timing and quick lift off
the court, could have done better.